February 15, 2013

I Love to  Read Month

In honor of "I Love to Read Month," students and staff throughout the district are finding creative ways to encourage reading. Students at Lincoln Elementary School are getting "wild about reading" with a Read-a-thon. The school is working hard to reach their goal of 130,000 minutes of reading - equivalent to over 90 days - by February 22. If the students reach their goal, Principal Dan Schmidt has agreed to let the students take him on a "messy safari" with special guests Becky the Book Worm and Jungle Jim.

Also hosting a month-long Read-a-thon is Matoska International IB World School. To kick off the event, students participated in a Book Character Day where they dressed up as their favorite fictional or non-fictional character. Guests for the day included Harry Potter, Pippi Longstocking and Abraham Lincoln.


Otter Lake Elementary is celebrating with a giant game of "Bookopoly" as an incentive to get students to curl up with a good book. The school has constructed a giant board game and students move their pieces along the path each day in a race to the most reading hours. By reading their favorite stories at home, students help their class earn fictional "Bookopoly" money. The class with the highest score at the end of February will receive a gift certificate for the upcoming Book Fair.


At Vadnais Heights Elementary students are participating in a "Caterpillar Reading Challenge" with a goal of reading 100,000 minutes at home throughout the month. Principal Sara Svir has agreed that if students achieve their goal, she will wear a Dr. Seuss character costume for a day. Students are keeping track of their progress by adding a circle to their classroom's caterpillar for every 20 minutes that they spend reading. A visit to Vadnais Heights will show that the caterpillars are rapidly taking over hallways! Around the building you can also see which books students and staff members list as their favorites. Not only are students reading at home this month, but each Tuesday in February, students join in DEAR (Drop Everything and Read) time.


The activities are not just limited to our elementary students. At Central Middle School, students are celebrating with a weekly home-base activity in which they must guess the correct name of a book by hearing only the first few lines of a story. Each day students also play "Library Lingo" requiring them to match the name of popular books with their authors. Whether it's reading your favorite book or browsing through a magazine or newspaper, we hope you'll join us in celebrating "I Love to Read Month."

The NASCAN 500

Each year, sixth grade students at Central Middle School participate in an electrifying race that puts their science skills to the test - The NASCAN 500!

Equipped with only a 12 oz aluminum can, a balloon and the principles of magnetism they have learned in Physical Science, teams of students use static electricity to roll cans to a specific destination and back again. Principal Noel Schmidt had the honor of sounding the air horn that marked the start of the competition. To generate the static electricity used to move  the cans, students frantically rubbed balloons against their hair or articles of clothing. The students cheered and groaned as their teams advanced to the next round of racing or were left behind on the track.


After many rounds of fierce competition students from Lynsey Fast's class were the first to cross the finish line in the final race. The team of Kyle Valdes, Blake Meister, Aaron Wahl and Jake Spring - "The Pandas" - claimed the NASCAN 500 traveling trophy. In the words of one of the winning teammates, "We thumped them!"

Success on the Slopes

As the skiing season draws to an end, the WBLAHS Nordic and Alpine Ski Teams have much to be proud of in their 2012-2013 seasons.

Facing teams in the Suburban East Conference (SEC) - one of the most competitive conferences in the state for skiing - the Nordic ski team had one of the most successful seasons in recent memory. Throughout the winter, the girls team consistently finished in the top three, and the boys team in the top five. At the end of January, the team had their best showing of the year as they traveled to Trollhaugen for the Suburban East Conference Meet. After exceptional performances, skiers Ari Adams, Laura Handke, Sean Kasprisin, RaeAnne Kolasa, Allison Ternes and Karl Solberg were awarded All-Conference Honors. Ben Ehrlich, Katie Esboldt, Megan Kratzke and Jake Marzitelli were also recognized with All-Conference Honorable Mention.

At the Section 6 competition in early February, the boys team took third place overall and Captain Sean Kasprisin qualified to compete at the state meet. Fellow teammate and Captain Karl Solberg also had an outstanding meet and narrowly missed the opportunity to compete at state by one place. The girls team took second overall and qualified 4 individuals to race in the state meet: Captain Ari Adams, Allison Ternes, Laura Handke and RaeAnne Kolasa. At the state championships junior Allison Ternes took 7th, senior Sean Kasprisin took 54th, junior Raeanne Kolasa took 60th, junior Laura Handke took 81st and senior Ari Adams took 97th out of 120 skiers in each of the boys' and girls' divisions.

At the Section 4 meet at Wild Mountain in early February, two members of the WBLAHS alpine ski team also advanced for their state competition. Junior Andrew Hondlik had two excellent runs and skied to a 5th place finish. After a more conservative first run, freshman teammate, Kate Cox, took advantage of fresh snow falling later in the competition with some aggressive skiing which propelled her into 12th place. The boys team finished 7th overall out of 23 schools and girls team took home 10th. At the state championships Kate and Andrew faced a tough field of competition with 88 skiers in each of the boys' and girls' divisions.  Kate took home 42nd place with Andrew claiming 45th.

Both teams would like to thank their coaches, parents and fans for great seasons. They are looking forward to seeing you back on the slopes next year!

Activities Updates

The Boys Basketball Team won recent games against Stillwater, Duluth East, and Mounds View. The WBLAHS Girls Basketball Team adds recent wins against Stillwater and Mounds View to their list of season successes. The White Bear Varsity Cheerleaders placed third in the Super Large Division of the Minnesota Cheerleading Coaches Association State Tournament at the beginning of February. The middle school team took second place in its division. In Boys Hockey, the momentum continues with recent victories over Park, Stillwater and Roseville. The team is now second in the Suburban East Conference. The Bear Wresting Team went 3-0 in last week's competition with victories against Roseville, East View, and North St. Paul.  Good luck in the Section 4AAA tournament on February 16 and individual section tournament on February 22-33!

White Bear Lake Area High School Athletics schedules can be found here.

A comprehensive 2012-13 District Activities schedule can be found here.

Please contact the Communications Department (651-407-7578) to submit Student News for inclusion in future publications.

Before the February 11, 2013 Regular Meeting, the White Bear Lake Area School Board Recognized the following students:

  • All-State Band, All-State Choir and Honors Choir students
  • WBLAHS fall musical "Anything Goes" cast and crew

Upcoming meetings

Date Type Time Location
Monday, February 25 Work-Study 5:30 p.m. District Center Room 201
Monday, March 11 Regular 7 p.m. District Center Community Room 112
Monday, March 18 Work-Study 5:30 p.m. District Center Room 201
Monday, April 8 Regular 7 p.m. District Center Community Room 112